Once, emoji was just emoji. Now it's another way for businesses to look into our souls — er, feeds — and see if we might like to buy something. Twitter is rolling out a new feature that lets advertisers target people who have tweeted a specific emoji. Image: Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul
The social network, which hasn't made revenue despite a decade of trying, is trying to compete in a world where everyone is thirsty for those big advertising dollars. Just this week, Facebook said it would start using location services to track which stores you go into, something Google has been doing for years. Snapchat's thinking the same thing with new features that allow full-screen video ads between friends' stories.
The feature works just how you might it might: You tweet a beer emoji and next thing you know, the local craft beer brewery is all up in your mentions asking if you'd like to come in and try their new flavours. Let's not think too hard about who will be targeting people who tweet the eggplant and peach emojis together.